Monthly Archives: January 2014

Interview with Dennis Young

Ardwellian Chronicles

Visiting me today is Dennis Young, author of The Ardwellian Chronicles. Good morning, Dennis.

 D. Good morning A. T. good to see you again.

 I see by your Amazon biography that you, like I, are a late bloomer when it comes to writing. Although you did start a little younger than I.

 D. Actually I’ve written all my life. I was the kid in school who, when the teacher assigned a five page short story to the class, would turn in thirteen pages and think it wasn’t enough.  I’ve written in business for over twenty years, dabbled in fanzines and other non-commercial publications. I started writing The Ardwellian Chronicles in 2005, but I’ve carried the stories with me for more than thirty years. 

 There are four books in the series so far. What next?

 D. Actually I have five books, the first four novels of the series and the first compendium.  The novels are Secret Fire, Dark Way of Anger, Secrets of the Second Sun, and Kaanan’s Way.  The compendium is about many of the swords in the novels, called Blades of Alliance: The Thirteen Swords of Power.  It’s a picture book and was a hoot to put together in 2012.  What’s next? I have two more novels in the series, Blood Secret (working title), and Chitthra’s Heart.  I’m also working on my second compendium about the “good guys” in the series, called Champions: The Heroes of Ardwel.  It’s another picture book but different in format than Blades of Alliance.  Beyond that, I still have five more “collections” to write, all of which are titled.  My fan page on Facebook is “Working on The Ardwellian Chronicles and Hope I Live Long Enough to Finish”.

 Any projected date of publication on number five?

 D. For Blood Secret, I hope to have it out by May 2015.  Champions should be available by Christmas 2014.  Beyond that, we’ll see.

 I would consider your work a mixture of science fiction and fantasy, kind of like a Dungeons and Dragons campaign. Maybe I’m wrong.

 D. SF? Well, I’m not really sure about that. The Ardwellian Chronicles are high fantasy adventures, and the level of technology is very low.  Magic exists but plays only a supporting role in my stories. The adventures are more about people of ability, facing adversity in its many forms and the sacrifices necessary to keep evil at bay.  I played D&D in the late 70’s all the way through the mid 90’s and many of my story ideas come from my games.  I had a great group of players for many years; always kept me on my toes as a game-master, created great characters, and enjoyed the challenges I put before them. Not only the physical challenges their characters had to meet, but the mental, emotional, and spiritual challenges as well.  Yes, in a good campaign you can have those things.

 Where do you get your ideas?

 D. As I said, many come from the D&D games and the characters within those. Others are from experiences in life I’ve had, or friends have had, and I try to adapt real life circumstances to the stories.  The best stories in my opinion are about people, how they deal with adversity, how they rise above it, or in some cases, how they fail.  Failure is a great teacher, and the old adage “that which does not kill us makes us stronger” is a recurring theme in my books.

 Who do you consider to be your target audience?

 D. Anyone who likes a great story about amazing people fighting against the odds.  Adventure was once defined as “someone else a thousand miles away having a really tough time”.  Here, you’re right along side these folks, watching their struggles and sharing their heartaches.  Readers of adventure want to see the heroes have that tough time; too easy and it’s not interesting; too hard and after a while you just put the book down.  There’s a fine line in adventure that writers have to walk in order to keep the readers’ interest but not make it too easy for them to see what’s coming.

 So tell us a bit about yourself. What are your hobbies? I know you like to hit people with sticks.

 D. Hobbies??? Well, when I need to get away from all the characters screaming in my head for attention, I do yard work; things like hauling rock for my back yard, building brick flowerbeds, and laying sod.  Nothing like good physical activity for a real cleansing experience.  Hitting people with sticks; I’m assuming you mean in the SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism). Yes, I was active in the local barony for several years in various ways; armor making, calligraphy and illumination, service to the barony and kingdom, and of course, combat.  SCA fighting is about as close as you can get to real combat without getting killed.  We wear real armor, leather, heavy cloth, and metal, fight with weapons made of rattan and close-cell foam, and pull no punches on the Field.  Our combat is full contact, full speed, not choreographed.  Nothing like spending the day on the Field with three hundred of your best friends beating on each other.

 What is your favorite period in history?

 D. The present; I’d rather be here than anywhere else.  For study, probably the Norman-English period from the Conquest through the early 1300’s.

 If you could be an animal (real or imaginary), what would you choose and why?

 D. I think I’d pass.  Animals can’t type.  Or write.  So my stories would go unwritten and untold.

 I know you travel a lot. Where is the most interesting place you’ve been? Would you want to live there?

 D. I travel in business and I’ve been to the Middle East, India, Far East, Australia, Philippines, UK, and Ireland. I’d like to spend more time in Thailand because it’s a beautiful, friendly country, or Ireland, because of its history.  If I were to choose one place to live, it would probably be Ireland or the UK for the history.

 Would you care to share an excerpt from one of your books or your WIP?

 D. Sure.  This is from my third book, Secrets of the Second Sun; I love to write small, intimate scenes that set up what is to follow. 

       As told by Wolfe’ik, Greywald did not allow them in, and they met on windswept rocks below the outer curtain wall, half a league beyond the gleaming towers. She was as remembered, though it had been three years since his eyes beheld her form; slender, no taller, still, than he, armored as a male, what little skin was seen covered in inks and colors. Her hair, he came to notice, now was longer, full and nearly black, her eyes as points of steel, no welcome in her look.

      Wolfe’ik cared not for her appearance, plain as she was, yet knew he looked much the same to her, life having burned away all but his essence, and naught was left but heart and mind and spirit.

      Still they stood in the growing dawn, guards aside and horses nervous at the rear, capes and standards whipping in the wind. He grinned, thinking of a story once heard, a clandestine meeting, rulers met to seal the fate of the land, and horrors, then, that followed. He laid it all aside and spoke to break the silence.

 Dennis, it’s been great chatting with you. Where can people find your books and you?

 D. My books are available at local book stores or can be ordered there.  Also I’m on Amazon where you can get hard copies or Kindle format, and B&N online too.  My social media is:

Blog: http://www.theardwellianchronicles.blogspot.com

Website: www.ardwel.com

Twitter:    @ardwelwriter

FB:          Working On The Ardwellian Chronicles and Hope I Live Long Enough to Finish

Email:      ardwelwriter@yahoo.com

Amazon author page:    http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B0034PJ6FS

Or just go online and query The Ardwellian Chronicles.

 

Thank you, A. T., for having me.  I’ve enjoyed your company.

Interview with L M Brown, author of M/M erotica with a fantasy twist

Good Morning LM. Or is it evening to you? I have trouble remembering the time difference between Missouri and England.

 Good evening for me, at least at the time of typing this, though like you, I have no idea of the time difference between us.  The wonders of the internet.  Thanks for letting me visit here today.

 Sorry I don’t have coffee for you. I could offer a cup of tea.

 L. Since I don’t drink coffee, tea would be perfect. I might like the taste of coffee but the smell is too strong for me and it never makes it as far as my mouth. So yes, I am a typical Brit when it comes to my non-alcoholic beverages.

 I’ll have to apologize. Typical American, I make it with tea bags.

 L. Tea bags are fine.  Never could stand a mouth full of tea leaves. Thankfully that only happens to me when the bag bursts.

 How are the kitties?

 L. They are mischievous as ever.  For those who don’t know, I have two adorable kitty cats, one of which frequently climbs over my computer to ‘help’ with my work.  That particular one is curled up on the sofa with me at the moment, and thankfully behaving herself long enough for me to type this.  The other one is outside. Rather her than me since the weather is turning quite cold, but she did insist on going out and as any cat owner knows, they rule us, not the other way around.

 They sure do. Cleo will come and paw at my knee until I give her a treat. She know the bag is on my desk.

 L. Mine help themselves to the treats. Demolishing anything in their way to get to them.

 I want to thank you for your help in trying to translate English terms into American. Sometimes I get lost.

 L. You’re welcome and me too.  I probably have it easy though since the internet is so swamped with Americanisms and we get a lot of US shows over here on TV.  It is surprising what you pick up.

 Despite being English, I remember someone telling me I hadn’t Brit-picked one of my fan fiction stories enough once. I had used the word ass as an insult, which is used over here though usually referring to the animal, and an American reader thought I had got it wrong and had actually meant arse.  I was quite told off for not making my story British enough, which was rather ironic considering I am English born and bred.

 I really sympathize with your Twitter problems. I haven’t figured it out myself yet.

 L. I am slowly trying to come to grips with it. I suspect that I will never be overly active on that site since it moves incredibly fast, but my posts on my blog will be filtered through there automatically (as well as to Facebook). 

 I have also recently signed up with Triberr, which works with Twitter to help share things that your Tribe posts.  I was doubtful about whether this would work, but the results have been pretty incredible so far.  I feel like there might be someone reading the ramblings on my blog after all.

 Of course, it may be my blog stats are improving because I am more active on my blog, but I have been active before without it making any difference.  Triberr is definitely something I need to keep a close eye on.

 I’ve read several of your stories from Silver Publishing. What made you get into M/M erotica?

 L. I started off in fan fiction writing general fiction and M/F romances.  My fandom was the Harry Potter one and when J K Rowling outed Dumbledore I wrote my first ‘slash’ story between Albus and Gellert.  Back then I used to have a lot more spare time on my hands and had a policy that if a writer read and reviewed one of my stories I would do the same for them. It was through one such writer that I discovered I quite liked Remus/Sirius slash and started to write that almost exclusively.  Most of my stories were pretty tame though the longer I wrote the more I wandered down the slippery slope to erotic romance.

 I then moved onto original fiction and that was that. 

 There are some stories on my blog that are M/M without being erotic, but when it comes to publishing, erotic romance is almost synonymous with M/M.  I don’t believe it should be, because I believe it is possible to write a romance without it being erotic at all, but unfortunately right now, if you want to be published in the M/M arena, erotic is almost demanded by readers.

 Hopefully one day there will be more sweet romances without the erotica making their way out to the public.  Dan Skinner’s Memorizing You is a brilliant example of how a romance between two men doesn’t have to be graphic.  I read it last summer and it is definitely a keeper.

 I know what you mean. I don’t expect my WIP to sell. All the sex is behind closed doors.

 L. We’ll have to hope for the day when M/M gets more mainstream and those sweet romances won’t be so hard to find.

 I get confused on genres. Do you consider your work paranormal or fantasy? I guess it could be a mix.

 L. Mostly I would class mine as paranormal, though in the case of Let Down Your Hair, I would say it is fantasy.  I probably get the genres mixed myself, but I tend to class fantasy as those set in entirely new worlds, but not outer space.  Paranormal I tend to think of as being the ones that are set in the regular world, but with a paranormal/supernatural twist. 

 Did you study writing in school or did you just always want to write?

 L. Other than the regular creative writing part of English class I never studied it at all.  I used to love doing the creative writing homework projects and it did make me want to write, but this didn’t happen for a long time.

 I see we have a mutual admiration of Diana Galbaldon. Are there any other authors you enjoy?

 L. There are many who have stuck with me as long as she has.  Lynn Kurland, who was my first US published author I discovered after I found the internet was like a giant online book store, is one of my favourites.  Also Sherrilyn Kenyon, since I adore her Dark Hunter series. One day, if my books ever take off, I would love to have a series as popular as that one is.

 Then there is Dinah Lampitt, whose novel Banishment is my favourite book of all time.  Like Outlander, it is a time travel romance that is marketed as fiction rather than romance. I believe it is out of print now though and consequently not so easy to find.

 There are also a lot of M/M authors I enjoy, though since I have only relatively recently discovered that genre, none of them have been with me as long as Diana Gabaldon and the others listed above.

 If you could live anywhere in any time period, where would you go and why?

 L. Despite my lack of enjoyment when it comes to the hot weather, I would love to have lived in Ancient Egypt.  There are so many things we don’t know about that culture that I would love to have the answers to as well as seeing the amazing structures when they were new and fresh.

 If you were to be reincarnated as an animal, what would it be and why?

 L. I’ll resist the urge to repeat the joke about the pigs having ridiculously long orgasms here.  Looking at the still snoozing kitty beside me, I’m thinking that is what I want to come back as in my next life.  That or a bird of prey since I like the idea of flying, but not of being one of the vulnerable little birds that the aforementioned cats like to torment.

 Do you have any hobbies besides writing?

 L. I love reading, of course, as well as photography.  The banner of my website as well as all the flower headers of my blog posts are all personal photos, which is about the extent of my talent in that department.  The animals run a mile when I grab the camera and when I try to photograph people it is always a bit of a disaster with out of focus, red-eyed demons instead of normal human beings.

 Are you a sports person or more of a movie person?

 L. Movies, definitely.  I watch the Olympics, though mainly stick to the athletics, gymnastics, swimming, diving, archery and showjumping.  When it comes to football (soccer in the US) and other team sports I tend to lose interest though.  I always sometimes watch Wimbledon, though again I don’t watch it religiously and only watch the finals if a Brit has made it though. So yes, I did see Andy Murray’s victory.

 Movies on the other hand, I adore.  I have a huge DVD collection, which saves me from the boredom of reality TV and endless repeats.

 Can you tell us what’s coming up for you that we should watch for?

 L. My latest novel is a sci-fi romance with Totally Bound.  My Boyfriend’s an Alien tells the story of Zak, an alien who finds himself shipped off here to Earth where he has to get used to having a human body, human emotions and falling in love with a human man.

 It is available for early download from Totally Bound as well as all other major online retailers.  It is only very recently up at Amazon, All Romance Ebooks, Barnes & Noble etc, so I don’t have the links at the time of writing this.  It should be there by the time this post goes live though.

 I don’t have any other books contracted at the moment, though with a bit – LOT – of luck my merman ménage novel Forbidden Waters might have been picked up by my publisher by the time this goes live. If it does, that is the start of a brand new series of MMM and MM romances.

 I am also working on the final Heavenly Sins book which I am aiming to get to Silver Publishing by Easter at the very latest.  With a bit of luck I can keep to that timescale and the trilogy will be complete by the end of the year.

 Where and how can people find your books?

 L. Here are the links to my website and blog, which are now located in one place, at long last. You can also find me on Facebook (usually procrastinating) and on Twitter (or at least I try to be active there).

 Website & Blog – http://lmbrownauthor.wordpress.com/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/L.M.Brown.author

Twitter – @LMBrownAuthor

 Is there anything else you’d like to share with us?

 Just thank you to anyone who takes a chance by buying one of my books.  I hope you enjoyed the story and if you did, please don’t be shy about letting me know.  You have no idea how much a kind word or two from a reader can encourage a writer to keep going.

 I must say, I’ve enjoyed everything of yours I’ve read.

 L. Thanks. I’m smiling here that I haven’t disappointed you yet.

 Thank you for visiting today. Give the kitties a treat for me.

 L. I will, and thank you once again for having me here.

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Blurb

 Zak, an alien from the planet Trimmeron, is a member of a race of beings who transform into other species during their years of puberty. It’s customary for the youngsters to be fostered to the worlds native to their new forms, to study and learn about the races who will play an important part in their lives.

 When Zak turns into a human, it comes as a surprise to everyone, for only one other before him has ever done so. Nevertheless he is sent to Earth, a world he views as primitive and barbaric. He arrives with a chip on his shoulder and attitude to spare. He does not believe that anyone on Earth could have anything to teach him.

 When Zak meets college student Sam he soon discovers he has a lot to learn, not only about humans, but also about himself.

 Trapped on an unfamiliar world and in a strange body that seems to have a mind of its own, Zak has no idea what is happening to himonly that Sam seems to be the key to the strange afflictions he is suffering from. 

 But can an alien find love with a human being?

 Excerpt

 The lights were already down when they made their way to a pair of seats near the back of the room. Sam sat down first and Zak took the seat near the aisle.

“You’ll really enjoy this,” Sam whispered as the big screen in front of them played a commercial for some kind of vehicle.

Zak whispered back to Sam that he was sure he would.

As the film played on the screen, Zak began to feel rather strange. There was something happening down there and it was totally out of his control. He shifted in his seat and tried to change his position so it wasn’t as obvious.

Sam laughed at something happening up on the big screen in front of them. The sound sent a zing right through Zak’s body, culminating in an uncomfortable tightening of his jeans. This had been happening to him quite a lot recently, but not to this extent.

Zak tried to concentrate on the movie, but it wasn’t holding his attention as it had before. His awareness of Sam heightened with every minute.

“Are you okay?” Sam whispered.

Zak groaned as Sam’s warm breath against his ear added to the problem down below.

“Fine,” Zak hissed.

Sam took him at his word and dipped his hand into the big tub of popcorn. At the touch of Sam’s fingers brushing against his own, hidden in the confectionary, Zak sank even lower into his seat as he tried to figure out what was happening to him.

Sam put a handful of popcorn into his mouth and started to chew. When Sam placed a hand on Zak’s thigh the pain in his groin became unbearable and he shot up from his seat. “I’ve got to go,” he said, causing several other people in the cinema to shush at him.

He didn’t wait for Sam to reply. He grabbed his jacket and bolted for the exit.

  Available from Totally Bound

https://www.totallybound.com/my-boyfriends-an-alien

 Bio

 L.M. Brown lives in England, in a quaint little village that time doesn’t seem to have touched. No, wait a minute—that’s the retirement biography. Right now she is in England in a medium sized town that no one has ever heard of, so she won’t bore you with the details. Keeping her company are numerous sexy men. She just wishes that they weren’t all inside her head.

 L.M. Brown loves hearing from readers so don’t be shy.

 

Cover award

Proud to announce that Ken Clark’s cover of Shifter Born took second place in the contest at http://authorsdb.com/. The cowboy beat us.

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Indie & Proud

Beryl Belsky is visiting J D Miller today: http://ladyofkaos.wordpress.com/

 

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And check out our FB page: https://www.facebook.com/indieandproud

Indie & Proud

Whoo-hoo! Our Indie and Proud page is up to 155 likes already. Check it out if you  haven’t already.

https://www.facebook.com/indieandproud

 

Interview with Ken Clark

Visiting my blog today is Ken Clark, webmaster and cover designer.

Ken

Hello, Ken.

I understand you live in New Mexico. Great news about same-sex marriage in that state. I assume you’re excited.

Extremely. I was actually sitting in the Bernalillo County Clerk’s Office this Summer when the Court decided to allow same-sex couples to marry in our county. It was a moving experience to a witness to history.

Would you like to tell us a bit about your life? Have you always lived in New Mexico? Do you have a family?

No I moved to New Mexico back in 2006. I lived most of my life in Virginia until I met a wonderful friend through one of my web sites. He (Scott) and I have been roommates and best friends for over ten years now. We’ve lived in 3 different states, 4 different homes in that period. It has been an amazing journey together. I would never trade it for anything. I do have family but they are all back home in Virginia.

I know a couple of the people for whom you do websites. How did you get started as a webmaster?

I designed my first web site back in the early 1990s. I was the President of the Board of Directors for a small museum in Virginia. The museum being small and over shadowed by larger museums in the area needed the additional exposure to remain viable. The site I designed did not only generate an increase in visitation for the museum but was a recognized resource for students all over the country.

Can you share some of your sites with us?

Many of the sites I’ve designed over the years have been replaced and updated since my time. The two that I am most proud of are the official site for author Mark A. Roeder (www.markroeder.com) and the official fan site for actor/producer/activist Chad Allen (www.chadallenonline.com). Both sites have undergone major redesigns over the years as technology has evolved.

I know you do my covers, can you tell us some others you do covers for, and where we can see samples?

In addition to your covers, I’ve also designed most of Mark A. Roeder’s covers and all of the covers for Stephen R. Moore. I also have designed a few covers for a new author who’s working on getting a new series of novels published. You can see many of my cover designs at my personal web site (www.kclark.net)

I also know you write some fan-fiction. Anything you’d like us to look up?

I have really only written one piece of fan-fiction. It was a spoiler-filled story based on Mark A. Roeder’s Gay Youth Chronicles series. It is meant to bring full circle the novel The Soccer Field Is Empty. It’s called The Soccer Field Is Full Again. It is only a couple chapters long but has received a good response from fans of Mark’s series. You can find it online at:

http://archiveofourown.org/works/915908

I do have floating around in my brain bits and pieces of some original stories but haven’t had time to pursue them. Funny one of them actually hit me in bed just last night. That one I keep picturing as a stage play so who knows.

If someone wants to hire you for web or cover design, how can they reach you?

I can always be reached at webmaster@markroeder.com! I look forward to hearing from you.

We’re off and running

Woohoo! Indie & Proud has officially kicked off. Thanks for giving a fantastic interview Ingrid! If you want to discover what goes on in this authors mastermind go to www.writeongrandi.com

Be sure and stay tuned for further interviews and visiting bloggers.